Green Zebra Tomatoes
Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
Green Zebra tomatoes are small, globular fruits, averaging 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter. The skin is smooth and taut with a light green base, covered in mottled, vertical striping. As the tomato matures, the stripes will transform from pale green to golden yellow. Underneath the surface, the flesh is firm, aqueous, and pale green to yellow, encasing 2 to 3 chambers filled with edible seeds suspended in a viscous liquid. Green Zebra tomatoes have a tart, astringent flavor when young, transitioning into a balanced blend of sweet and tangy flavors with maturity.
Green Zebra tomatoes are available in the late spring through fall.
Green Zebra tomatoes, botanically classified as Solanum lycopersicum, are a bi-colored, early to mid-season cultivar belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The small fruits are considered to be a specialty variety reserved for chefs and home gardeners and are primarily found through local farmer’s markets. Green Zebra tomatoes are not commercially cultivated on a wide scale but are favored by select growers for their high-yields, small size, resistance to cracking, and tangy flavor. The tomatoes are also valued for their striped, green and yellow skin, earning them the unofficial nickname as the tomato of the Green Bay Packers football team in Wisconsin.
Green Zebra tomatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which assists in regulating fluid levels in the body and are a good source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system. The tomatoes also provide some magnesium, iron, and fiber to stimulate digestion.
Green Zebra tomatoes are best suited for raw applications as the sweet and tangy flavor is showcased when consumed fresh, lightly coated in olive oil and salt. The petite fruits are sliced and tossed into salads, chopped into salsas, layered onto caprese, or covered in herbs and cheeses as a bright side dish. Green Zebra tomatoes can also be blended into gazpacho or mixed with green goddess dressing for a tangy, bright flavor. In addition to fresh applications, the tomatoes can be cooked, which will mellow the acidity of the younger fruits. Their small size makes them ideal for kebabs, hollowed out and stuffed, or quartered and added to curries. Green Zebra tomatoes can also be lightly sautéed, slow-roasted, or breaded and fried as the flesh has a sturdy nature and will not break down. Beyond fresh applications, Green Zebra tomatoes can be pickled, smoked, or cooked down to make preserves and sauces. Green Zebra tomatoes pair well with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, herbs such as oregano, basil, mint, and cilantro, avocado, jalapeno, cheeses such as goat, mozzarella, feta, parmesan, and ricotta, and fruits such as melons, apricots, kiwis, cucumbers, and peaches. Whole and uncut Green Zebra tomatoes will keep for 3-7 days when stored at room temperature. Once sliced, the tomatoes should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Green Zebra tomatoes first became popular in high-end restaurants when renowned chef Alice Waters featured them on the menu at her famous restaurant, Chez Panisse in Berkley, California. Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 with a focus on using sustainable, organic, and in-season produce. The menu changes nightly depending on the local produce available, and each ingredient’s true flavor is celebrated and highlighted in the dishes. Water’s philosophy of using fresh, local produce has led many chefs to attribute her restaurant as one of the birthplaces of “California cuisine,” which is ingredient-focused cooking with simple preparations, natural flavors, and ethical practices.
Green Zebra tomatoes were developed in Everett, Washington, in 1983 by grower Tom Wagner. As a plant breeder, Wagner had long been intrigued by the evergreen tomato but was frustrated at the fruit’s delicate nature when ripening. Wagner decided to create a striped green variety that would be resistant to cracking and crossed four heirloom varieties, one of which was the evergreen tomato. Wagner named the tomato Green Zebra, a nod to the tomato's unique striping. Green Zebra tomatoes were featured in Wagner's Tater-Mater Seed Catalog between 1993 and 1996, during which time it achieved commercial success in both the gardening and culinary world. Today Green Zebra tomatoes are grown and distributed predominately out of Mexico and California.
Recipes that include Green Zebra Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.